When I think of Mary at Jesus Christ’s sepulchre that Sunday after Atonement, I can’t help but see that huge rock, rolled to the side, with the idea of Resurrection never even a thought in Mary’s mind. All she saw was an empty tomb, empty burial clothes, and an obvious crime. Her mind could only conceive of one solution: he had been stolen, taken, misplaced. But in reality, He was ready to be taken up, completely perfected, and brought back together both body and spirit never to be separated again. What her mortal mind perceived as a tragic problem, was in actuality a sacred moment of transformation. And when she heard her name spoken near the Garden Tomb that morning, her life would never be the same. “Mary,” was all the Savior had to say to redirect her attention and focus her mind to new reality-he was ALIVE! He still knew her! He still loved her!
There are days that I stare into the problems of my existence and just see emptiness-empty ideals, empty choices, empty futures, impossible trials, hopeless change. But the emptiness of that moment is NOT REALITY. Jesus Christ has the power to resurrect us from ourselves, our choices, our circumstances, our infirmities. The tomb may LOOK empty, but in truth it is filled with the most amazing reality-hope, new life, better circumstances, light. When Jesus Christ left the tomb on Resurrection morning, he forever changed what we can do with our lives. Until then, the Atonement was a great hope, a matter faith, a future event. But, THAT morning, every hope became a reality. He really lived, He really suffered for us, He really died for us and He really came back to us.
Nowadays, He’s busy rolling away the stones of our lives and then calling us to different possibilities. “Sarah” is all it takes to redirect my focus back to His marvelous promises. I can drop my burden as His feet and bear a song away. I feel that I have literally done this every time I write names on the temple prayer roll. And I have felt the same miracle performed for me that Christ performed for the people of Alma when He said:
“I will ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders,
that even you cannot feel them upon your backs…
that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions…
yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease,
and they did submit cheerfully and with patience…”
I have a great adversity in my life right now, but it feels light, it feels almost non-exsistant and I am floored every day at how good I feel despite the ever-present trial. I almost feel guilty that I don’t feel worse. 🙂 There is no explanation other than He is making me stronger so that I can bear this burden with ease. I am able to cheerfully navigate my days when I could easily be in the depths of despair. Is this not a miracle? Has He not rolled away the stone for me and released me from the tomb and shown me a new path? Truly He has resurrected my despair into hope and cheerfulness.
This Easter let’s take peek into our own lives-what despair, infirmity, worry, or behavior needs to be laid in a tomb? And what relationship, circumstance, belief, hope, or habit needs to be resurrected? What stone does He need to roll away first? And when the Master calls, will we hear His voice? The miracle of Resurrection is real. The miracle of the Atonement is real. The miracle of Jesus Christ is real. And I am eternally grateful for Jesus Christ and the Miracle that He performed Easter week; because of Him I have hope, relief, and joy right now as I sit and write this. Because of Him, my tragedies are actually transformations.
And because of Him there are no lost causes….not you, not me…